Supernatural: Unhuman Nature
November 30, 2018 1:50 PM - Season 14, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The group tries to find a way to help Jack. Nick continues to spiral down a dark path as he looks for answers surrounding the deaths of his wife and son. Dean helps Jack learn to enjoy the human experience.

guest actors previously on Supernatural:

- Michael Bean plays the priest at the beginning, was in episode 2 of this season "Gods and Monsters", as Arty Nielson, so he was killed by Nick twice! He was also in s05e02 "Good God, Y'All", as a pastor
- Morgan Brayton plays the admitting nurse at the hospital, was in s02e18 "Hollywood Babylon", as Elise Drummond (I thought it was wrong, that couldn't be her, and then I realized that episode was 11 years ago, so yeah)
- Craig March plays Frank Kellogg, was in s05e15 "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid", as "Man"
posted by numaner (15 comments total)
It was really sweet with Dean playing dad to Jack. I guess Cas can only do angel dad, and Dean is human dad. Sam is the uncle that defends Jack all the time. They're a great little family.

I can't tell if they're actually killing off Jack, but if they are it's way too soon.

So this episode brought up an interesting debate we've heard before, whether Nick allowed Lucifer in as he was grieving to feel better, or because he always had that darkness and wanted to have Lucifer to fulfill it, and was that darkness always there or manifested as his family is killed. And now we know that a demon named Abraxas masterminded that whole thing to get Nick to accept Lucifer.

I wonder if Dean's dizziness is because Michael is still in there somewhere or it's a side-effect of being the host of an archangel, which could also be what Nick is feeling, except it's murderous rage instead of dizziness.
posted by numaner at 1:55 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was so charmed by Jack's "I'm a driver!" exclamation. It was such a good line - balancing the normal teen experience of learning how to drive and Jack's induction into Dean's world with the overly literal angel-experience of the human world.

I'm enjoying Jack much more now as a human since him as the most powerful being in the universe (perhaps bar two or three others) was really making the writers ratchet up the drama is absurd ways. So, hopefully that doesn't result in him dying immediately in the usual way of good characters on this show.
posted by snaw at 2:29 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

It feels like this season, they're trying some new things with tone. The whole sequence with Dean and Jack was much more slow-paced than this show usually goes, and that's not a complaint. They let it breathe in a nice way. The way Nick tortured and murdered that poor ex-cop was also the most horrific act of human-on-human violence I think we've ever seen on this show. It didn't have any supernatural stuff to distance us from it even a little; it was one man straight-up beating another man to death, and it was bloody and brutal.

Nick has emerged as a very compelling but also very confusing character. So, he didn't kill his family. Was he evil before Lucifer possessed him? Was he a normal man but being possessed by Lucifer left him tainted, so now he's a serial killer? Is he being acted on by some outside force, so he enjoys killing even though he really doesn't want to?

When Nick was praying and we cut to the weird skeletal creature emerging from the blackness, my first thought was that it was the entity I insist on calling Mr. Inky until we get a proper name for it. Maybe Mr. Inky is Abraxas! But no, I suspect Lucifer has been submerged in the oblivion of Inky-land, and we were seeing him reforming. He does seem like too big a player in this show to be gone for good, but I'm ambivalent about him returning this soon. If Nick gets re-possessed I think I'll actually miss him as a character. They're doing a good job making him both frightening but also strangely sympathetic in some way, like he's a pathetic addict and his jones is murder.

The way they're playing Jack's illness makes me wonder if they really are writing him out. I hope not. I was surprised he did the road trip with Dean rather than Cas, because Cas seems like his DAD-dad and Dean does feel more like an uncle. But of course Cas is more the serious, stern dad and Dean is the fun one who would care about Jack having some kind of normal life, so there's that. I feel like poor Castiel is spinning his wheels even more than usual this season. They need to come up with some stuff for Cas to do!

It was cute how Rowena just seems to be part of the gang now, like they've dropped any pretense that she's a threat. They had to trick her into coming by saying Dean was sick, because they knew she wouldn't want to help the son of Lucifer! She's come a long way.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:36 PM on November 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

They need to come up with some stuff for Cas to do!

I got a kick out of Cas exclaiming to Sam that he "needs to do something!" because he felt useless but we also hasn't seem him one that much this season.
posted by numaner at 10:46 PM on November 30, 2018

So I guess only his own grace will work to cure Jack. Fortunately, it looks like Nick is praying Lucifer back to life, making Jack's grace potentially available again. I wonder if there's any chance Lucifer will be less evil when he comes back. Maybe he could become the new Crowley - the likeable bad guy who isn't actually all that bad. Maybe he'll give Jack's grace back to him voluntarily.

Jack may die for a little while, but I don't think they're going to kill him off permanently. He's too likeable. And they've set up this situation where he can't survive unless he gets his grace back and now they're making the one thing happen that would actually make that possible. That's probably not a coincidence.

They've worked in two mentions of Gabriel so far this year, which supports my idea that he's not really dead. (At least not permanently.) Now that they have the archangel grace they got from the shaman, maybe they can open up a door to Apocalypse World and find Gabriel. (If it really is archangel grace. If the shaman got it from Gabriel, he may have been tricked. Gabriel's not exactly a trustworthy source. Maybe that's why it didn't work.)
posted by Redstart at 4:20 PM on December 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

That Lucifer skull effect was hilariously Terminator 2-ish. I feel like someone in the FX department was having fun doing an homage to retro CGI.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:36 PM on December 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Gabriel's not exactly a trustworthy source. Maybe that's why it didn't work.

Oooo I didn't think of that. Good point. But that means Gabriel is really dead and they can't use it to open the portal. And didn't Jack drink all of it?
posted by numaner at 7:05 PM on December 1, 2018

It would mean they couldn't use it to open the portal, but it wouldn't have to mean Gabriel was really dead. I think Jack did drink it all but they should be able to get it back again by making a cut and letting it out. Maybe they'd want to do that anyway since it seemed to make him worse.

But if it just didn't work because it wasn't really archangel grace, that means they don't necessarily need Jack's grace back from Lucifer. They could try to get some from the Michael from our world who's still stuck in the cage or they could try to get it from Apocalypse World Michael (who may still be hiding out in Dean.) Maybe they'll try one of those things and it still won't work and then they'll realize it has to be Jack's own grace and then Lucifer will appear again just in time.
posted by Redstart at 7:18 PM on December 1, 2018

I'm actually curious why they haven't thought about letting this world's Michael out of the cage. He can't be worse right?
posted by numaner at 8:36 PM on December 1, 2018

He can't be worse right?

Perhaps not worse, but the other Michael was pretty sinister already and he'll probably be a real mess after a few years in the cage. Maybe he'd want to defeat Alt-Michael, or maybe they'd team up!

The show seems to have really dropped all the stuff with the cage, they never mention it, so I suspect the original Michael (and the poor Winchester half-brother) will just never come up again. Michael would indeed be the only living Archangel right now, so maybe they'll surprise me and dig him up to try and take his grace for Jack's sake... but I think it's more likely Lucifer will come back and Jack will get the grace from him.

(Something just hit me. If these alternate universes have alternate archangels, the sons of God... does that mean each universe also had its very own Chuck?)

It's really, really dopey for Dean to not mention that he's been having those weird woozy spells. You KNOW it's gonna be some deal where Michael possesses him again or something, and if Dean mentioned it now they could already be working on figuring it out. It seemed like the brothers were done keeping big secrets for no good reason, and this is a bad flashback.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:41 PM on December 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I really wish they would do something with Michael/Adam in the cage. It feels like unfinished business and it nags at me. Once Lucifer was out of the cage you'd think they would have at least considered getting Michael out too, to see if they could rescue Adam. It was mentioned once or twice that Michael was pretty much destroyed mentally by being in the cage for so long. (And I wonder why. Why was the effect on him so much worse than the effect on Lucifer?) So maybe they figure Adam is destroyed too, or would be incapable of expelling Michael anyway. And maybe they think Michael deserves to stay locked up because of his role in the Apocalypse. But no one has ever talked about this at all. How hard would it be to have them spend a couple of minutes having a conversation about it, just so it doesn't feel like something the writers forgot?

You'd think Sam and Dean might be haunted by what happened to Adam, but they never seem to think about it. The things Dean feels overwhelming guilt about seem a little random. Kevin, whose death was clearly not his fault in any way, but not Benny, who Dean literally killed with his own hands, after abandoning him when he needed Dean most. (Yeah, I'm still pissed off about how he treated Benny. I liked Benny.)

I'm not sure freeing Michael from the cage would be helpful. He was never on the side of the humans. And he could very well decide to team up with his alternate self. But it's possible they could steal his grace and use it. Or maybe he could provide the angel power heaven needs to keep running. I keep expecting them to realize they really need him for something and get him out, but it does seem as if the writers just want us to forget all about him.
posted by Redstart at 6:35 AM on December 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

For Chuck's sake, don't get me started on Michael/Adam/Dad/the cage. So much potential there gone to waste.

You know, if Lucifer can be reborn, it certainly opens the door to Gabriel returning as well.
posted by Ber at 2:04 PM on December 2, 2018

I nth that the Adam plot was a waste, but yeah, doesn't seem like the boys give a rat's ass about their supposed brother. To be fair, they barely met him and he was dad's favorite or whatever, but still.

I couldn't stand watching the Nick-being-a-killer thing. I forgot he was "Nick" rather than not Lucifer for most of the episode.

The Jack stuff was quite touching though. I would be surprised if they got rid of the character now though, unless the actor wanted to leave. His being sweet and nice to Rowena was quite something. As was the driving lessons.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:10 PM on December 2, 2018


When Jack's condition takes a turn for the worse, Sam, Dean, and Castiel take him to Emergency. When speaking with the admitting nurse, she asks for his birth date. Dean is at a loss to answer this, but Sam quickly answers, "May 18th." May 18, 2017 was the date the season 12 finale episode "All Along The Watchtower" aired, in which Kelly Klein gives birth to Jack.

Frank Kellogg's house is the same house used in "Family Remains" (ep. 4.11) and was also where Rev. Roy La Grange lived in "Faith" (ep. 1.12). The same house was used many times as a location in Supernatural as well as in other shows.

Nick mentions an ex-neighbour called Artie Nielsen. This is the name of Saul Rubinek's character on Warehouse 13.

Nick finds out that a demon named Abraxas killed his family in this episode. Abraxas is a Gnostic god.
posted by orange swan at 4:45 PM on March 4

Jack's flattery worked so well on Rowena. She's vain!

Dean must feel incredibly guilty to let a novice teenage driver drive the Impala. He hardly ever lets Sam drive his precious car, and Sam's a good driver.

I totally agree with others that the show dropped the ball on Adam and Michael still being in the cage. It doesn't seem to weigh on Sam and Dean at all, and they haven't made any real effort to get their brother out of that cage. On my first watch of the series, I yelled "WHAT ABOUT ADAM?!!?!" at the screen so many times.
posted by orange swan at 4:47 PM on March 4

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